The Emergency Operations Division primary responsibility is to serve as the agency’s liaison to the Pasco County Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The Director and Manager are Pasco County’s Deputy Incident Commanders during an emergency operation and provide a 24/7 command function to the EOC for both manmade and natural disasters. The Director and Manager prepare, plan, train, and execute the Agency’s overall level of readiness and provides situational reports and recommendations during emergencies.
Serves as the Florida Sheriff’s Association (FSA) Coordinator for the Region 4 Task Force. This is an eight county task force with numerous federal, state, and local agency participation through mutual aid agreements and everyday operations. Much of this coordination requires knowledge of all resources available for mutual aid agreements and coordinate task force training events, operations, and technology sharing opportunities.
Agency’s liaison for the following programs: Defense Logistics Agency’s – Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO), Regional Domestic Security Task Force (RDSTF), and the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI). The LESO program make US government military equipment available to non-federal agencies. The Pasco Sheriff’s Office Aviation program and Special Vehicle Unit are prime examples of the cost benefits of participating in the LESO program. The RDSTF and UASI programs provide funding through grants for anti-terror and emergency management functions and aloe the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office to utilize any of the myriad of regional resources available if required.
Provides command and control of the following agency special units: Augmentation Force, which includes the agency’s Extra Duty program, Civilian Support Unit, Parking Enforcement, Jeep Unit, and Horse Posse. The Augmentation Force as 395 volunteer positions. Continuing, the Bomb Liaison, Honor Guard, Special Vehicle Unit (SVU), Special Incident Response Team (SIRT), and Surveillance Unit on a daily basis. All of these teams provide the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office with a force multiplying capability for many different types of emergencies and events.
Led by Sgt Pepenella – The Augmentation Force include the Civilian Support Unit, Parking Enforcement, Extra Duty, Jeep Unit, and Horse Posse. The Augmentation Unit covers all volunteers throughout the agency and in volunteer hold status, which totals nearly 400 volunteer members. The Volunteers in Policing section encompasses several volunteer programs to include the CSU program, Operation Dark House, the Ghost Car program, Parking Enforcement and volunteers that serve in all parts of the agency. CSU’s assist patrol by directing traffic at crash scenes, and handling lower priority calls such as found property and criminal mischief complaints. Some CSU members are also trained Traffic Crash Investigators (TCI’s). Both Operation Dark House and the Ghost Car program are aimed at crime prevention and have been proven to reduce burglaries in the program areas.
CSU members fall under Joint Operations Bureau Augmentation Force section and are comprised of Volunteers specially trained by the Sheriff’s Office to respond to many non-emergency and routine calls for service, that do not require law enforcement or regulatory authority. CSUs conduct: Community Patrol, Traffic Control, Vehicle Crashes, Parking Enforcement, Search Assistance, Crime Scene Assistance, Investigating & Reporting of “Non-Suspect” Crimes, Vacation/ Dark House Checks, Court Services and Traffic “Calming”.
Parking Enforcement Specialist (PES)
PES members fall under Joint Operations Bureau Augmentation Force section and are comprised of volunteers specially trained in Parking Enforcement procedures. PES members must complete a 40 PES academy and be with a Field Training Officer until proficient with parking enforcement procedures. Parking Enforcement Specialists will only enforce parking violations in commercial parking areas such as malls, shopping plazas, etc. Parking Enforcement Specialists will not enforce parking violations in any residential subdivisions, regardless of whether the subdivision has a letter of agreement to enforce parking violations on file with the agency.
Extra Duty Deputies
Extra-Duty Details Fall under Joint Operations Bureau Augmentation Force section and is a Non-law enforcement security related employment performed during off-duty hours, pursuant to F.S. 30.2905. The Extra-Duty Program and its related services provide a benefit to the citizens and visitors of Pasco County by contributing to the prevention of criminal activity without cost to the general public.
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Volunteer Jeep Search and Rescue Unit support the Sheriff’s Office. Our main purpose is to provide vehicular support for emergencies in Pasco County and elsewhere in the state, with an emphasis on Search and Rescue, by performing duties related to missing persons, evidence searches, flood and other disaster assistance, when its special team skills are required.
The members of this unit supply their own vehicles, specially equipped for searching in on- and off – road environments. The unit maintains a group of qualified, trained and mission- ready volunteers to be on-call and respond to any situation, in any weather, and at any time, when requested by the Sheriff’s Office. Lead Corporal Art Madden.
Pasco Mounted Posse
The Pasco Sheriff’s Office has 3 Equestrian Units under the leadership of Sheriff Chris Nocco. The Mounted Unit is comprised of Sworn Sheriff’s Deputies.
The Junior Posse, organized April 2015, young adults between the ages of 14-17, maximum limit 10.
All of the HORSES are personally owned; their services donated and are of no cost to the Pasco Sheriff’s Office or the Tax Payers of Pasco County. These units are very active in all of the communities in Pasco County and serving at almost all community events where they are invited. The use of these units and their high visibility serve as a Crime Prevention Tool though out Pasco County.
THE MEMBERHIP LOVES sharing our equine partners with the citizens and visitors of Pasco County.
WE ARE SEEKING NEW MEMBERS.
The primary responsibility of the Honor Guard is to provide specialized services in support of anticipated and unanticipated law enforcement events for ceremonies and funerals. These events are outside the realm of conventional agency operational components. This includes presenting colors at special events, funeral honors, attending outside agency funerals, and assisting outside agency with funerals. The Honor Guard consists of 25 members from all agency bureaus. Training is held every other month and event driven training takes place when needed.
The Waterborne Unit has three very different unique waterborne response capabilities. These capab ilities include Underwater Recovery Team (DIVE), Swift Water Response Team, and Waterborne Response Team. Many of the unit’s members serve on more than one team in the Waterborne Unit. The Underwater Recovery Team (DIVE) conducts dive operations in order to recover stolen property, locate evidence, and search for victims of drowning.
In late 2016, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office began the task of creating and implementing a Swift Water Recovery Team. This capability is in response to the repetitive flooding, which occurs within Pasco County. The team was initially planned to include four members who would respond to any swift water event, such as flooding, in Pasco County. As the process of creating the team evolved the Sheriff’s Office obtained funding from private citizens of Pasco County who donated money to purchase three inflatable rescue/ recovery boats. With these donations, funds became available allowing the Sheriff’s Office to dedicate 15 fully trained and equipped personnel to the team. The twelve Underwater Recovery Team members and three additional members identified as the Underwater Recovery and Swift Water Recovery Team. The team is broken into three five-man sub-teams. Each of the sub-teams has a Team Leader, one Swimmer/Diver, one Safety Swimmer/Diver, and two Diver/Swimmers. The members have dual roles on the teams determined by experience and specialized training. All members train equally and can function in both roles as determined by events; however, the unit selects primary swimmers due to prior training and experience in the swimmer rescue field.
The three teams of the URT/SWRT certified as Public Safety Divers with training in Dive Rescue, Current Diving, Swift Water Rescue I and Swift Water Rescue II. Two members of the team are actively involved in the transition of military certifications to public certifications as Paramedics. One member of the team is currently a certified EMT. These certifications will allow the team to meet the national standards for Swift Water Rescue Teams and will allow the Sheriff’s Office the ability to join regional response teams and/ or task forces for any water related response. The Pasco Sheriff‘s Office Swift Water Rescue Team will be fully mission capable by year-end of 2017.
The members of the team have been fully equipped with diving and swift water response personal equipment. Some of the team’s equipment includes two trucks and trailers and all rescue gear for two complete sets of operational responses to any water related emergency. The team is also researching the possibility for smaller immediate responses to some types of emergencies. The agency equipment includes a set of swift water rescue rigging, three 12-foot inflatable boats with motors, and two sets of miscellaneous equipment for setting up and functioning as stand-alone operational platforms.
With three five-man teams available, the Sheriff’s Office can man an operation in the standard A-B 24 hour scheduling format utilized during states of emergency, such as, tropical storms and flooding events. A third team’s utilization is for any other emergencies and/or deployments as members of the regional task force.
At this time, August 2017, the teams are operational with limited functionality until the rigging training is complete by the end of 2017 to allow full functionality as required by national fire safety guidelines. Until then the team is equipped and able to function in nearly all types of water related responses, to include basic flooding responses, which arise throughout the year. The team is capable of performing under both water and top water operations such as, citizen assists, rescue, and recovery operations in flooded areas and all bodies of water in Pasco County.
The Waterborne Response Team is part of the state Regional Domestic Security Task Force (RDSTF). This task force enforces maritime security, and has a capability, which consist of a minimum seven person teams trained and equipped who can deploy to provide critical water, and land based security for our state’s waterways and critical infrastructure, including ports and nuclear power plants. Water borne Response Team’s also serve as an immediate response element to all natural and manmade disasters and critical incidents, including acts of terrorism.
The Waterborne Response Team (WRT) addresses the threat of waterborne attacks and enhances Florida’s response capabilities to critical incidents occurring on or near the water. Within each of the seven RDSTF, the WRTs are comprised of representatives from local and state agencies including Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, County Sheriff’s Departments and Municipal Police Departments that possess maritime capabilities. These WRTs augment the United States Coast Guard mission to ensure compliance with the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, ensure security of Florida’s ports and waterways, and provide a rapid and organized response to WMD events and other critical incidents.
Special Incident Response Team (S.I.R.T)
The Special Incident Response Team serves as the Sheriff’s Office mobile field force. They assisted with the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa and stand ready to quickly respond to any type of civil disturbance or mass arrest situation. The team is composed of member of the Field Operations, Criminal Investigation, and Court Services Bureaus.
The SVDT program supports the Pasco Sheriff’s Office growing fleet of specialty vehicles as part of the overall agency response to critical incidents. Housed within this program are the mobile Tactical Operations Center, the Mobile Command Post, the Intelligence and Information Technology Vehicle, and military surplus Humvees and 5-ton vehicles used for flood response and evacuation. Members are required to remain proficient in the use of all vehicles within the SVDT fleet and train regularly to maintain their skills.
The Surveillance Team is composed of selected Detectives and Strategic Targeted Area Response deputies and is designed to work with SWAT, Major Crimes, Property Crimes, and Warrants Units in order to gather intelligence on the worst of the worst criminals in Pasco County.